There’s two types of people when it comes to hosting during the holidays:
AKA: you either love to host gatherings and can’t wait to invite everyone over OR you’re the type of person that never volunteers your house and enjoys being a guest instead.
If you’re the type that stays far away from hosting, there’s a chance it’s because you’re making things more difficult than they have to be.
While of course the person hosting is going to experience a greater level of stress and responsibility than the attendees, that doesn’t mean that as the host you can’t enjoy the gathering also.
There is a way you can enjoy hosting during the holidays AND keep the harmony in your life (and home) while doing so.
To help you properly plan and prepare, here are my top 5 tips for you to adopt this holiday season!
One of the biggest stressors that people have when it comes to hosting is how their home looks. And I totally get it – you want to impress people and make it seem like your house is Pinterest-worthy.
The crazy part about this, however, is that people don’t actually care what your home is decorated like for the holidays. What they really care about is how you make them feel while they are there.
One of my favorite quotes that really reflects what hosting is all about is: “True hospitality is when someone leaves your presence feeling better about themselves, not about you.” – Unknown
So, instead of doing the absolute most, set the mood with a few small touches that make the most sense for you.
Who cares if Susie down the road has 3 decorated Christmas trees on her front porch! Your guests simply want to feel welcomed and sometimes all it takes for that to happen is minimal decor, such as holiday couch pillows, a simple decorated mantle or a scented candle that matches the mood, along with a batch of fresh baked cookies to greet them with.
If you prefer to go all out and that makes you happy, by all means go for it! But just know that your home doesn’t have to look like a Pottery Barn magazine in order for you to be considered a good host.
Another place where people go wrong when it comes to hosting is trying to do it ALL all by themself. I’m not sure when the word “host” became synonymous with “superman” or “superwoman,” but it’s time we quit believing that in order to host great parties at our home we must do it all by ourselves.
In reality, people LOVE to lend a hand! Your guests typically want to help you and while I know it’s tempting to be polite and decline, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is allow them to pitch in.
Whether that be letting them bring a casserole, making the dessert, sending invitations, etc. you can decide what that looks like, but accepting help in some capacity will minimize your stress and actually allow you to enjoy the gathering alongside everyone else!
An easy way to keep the harmony in your home when you’re hosting this holiday season is to keep your gathering contained to only one or two rooms.
If you have a basement, bonus room, additional living room, etc. I know it’s tempting to let your guests choose where to spend their time, but this only causes chaos for you at the end of the night.
To avoid this, simply guide your guests during the gathering. When they arrive, let them know where they can put their belongings, show them where the restroom is, where they can make a drink and point them to the living room where they can make themself at home.
When it’s time to eat, guide them to the dining room or table that you want everyone to use and when dinner is over, let them know they’re free to enjoy the TV or play a board game in a certain space.
It’s rare that a guest will mosey into a space that other people aren’t in and guests naturally follow the host. So, if you don’t want them in certain areas of your home, simply don’t let it be known that it’s there.
This will help you avoid having to clean multiple rooms once the party is over and allows you to really interact with all of your guests, which will ensure you’re enjoying the event too!
This one might be an unpopular opinion because around the holidays, people tend to bring out their fine china. While I understand that you want your holiday gathering to feel special, your guests typically don’t care what they eat off of.
Target, Home Goods and Walmart always have holiday themed disposable plates, cups, napkins and silverware that are large and sturdy enough to get the job done.
Not only does it eliminate the amount of dishes you have to wash, but themed dinnerware can also double as decor!
If you want to create a happy medium, you can always use your fancy barware and your beautiful casserole dishes.
I know this one might seem silly or small, but when it comes to hosting, sometimes the hardest part isn’t actually having people over, it’s dealing with the aftermath. Yes, there’s the clean up, such as vacuuming and wiping down tables, but an overlooked aspect during large holidays is that there tends to be a lot of leftovers, especially if you’re serving traditional meals.
As a host, you typically don’t think about this part of the equation until you’re standing in your kitchen at the end of the night wondering what the heck you’re going to do with the massive amounts of mashed potatoes.
Like anything in life, the best way to deal with this possible stress is to prepare for it! There’s a few ways you can do this:
This will ensure that you aren’t having to toss perfectly good food AND your kitchen isn’t overloaded with a huge mess.
These 5 tips can relieve some of the stress that you experience as a host during the holidays and can allow you to truly enjoy gathering with your friends or family.
At the end of the day, the holidays are meant for you to enjoy quality time and soak up the company of your loved ones and it would be a shame for you to let stress from small things take that away!
Implement these tips this holiday season and you can rest easy knowing that you’re creating an environment and an event that your guests will remember forever.
P.S. If you dream of hosting, but feel like you need greater organization throughout your home before you feel confident doing so, connect with the Organize2Harmonize team to see how that’s possible for you this season!